31/03/2020

Life Update | March 2020

March 2020 Life Lately Lisa Valentine Blogs

I‘m not even sure where to begin with my round-up of March 2020. It’s been one of the most surreal months I’ve ever experienced, that’s for sure. As I write this, we’re coming to the end of Week One of the coronavirus ‘lockdown’ in England and life feels so very strange right now.

Feeling

Again, where to begin with this one? My emotions have been a rollercoaster of fear, sadness, gratitude, anger, panic, love, grief, worry, acceptance, frustration and just about everything inbetween.

When it became apparent that coronavirus was fast becoming a global pandemic, images of people clearing supermarket shelves and hoarding bog roll began to flood social media and I got so angry. I could see the ‘I’m alright Jack’ mentality creeping in and that kind of selfish as fuck attitude makes me rage inside. I reminded myself to purposely think about the good things that are happening and the amazing people who are supporting others instead.

As things escalated, both Adam and I got asked to work from home for the foreseeable (and I’m aware of just how fortunate that makes us. We have many loved ones who are working to provide essential services, who have lost jobs and others whose employers are demanding that they work in unsuitable conditions). I’ve been flitting between feeling incredibly grateful and completely overwhelmed; a large part of my job includes crisis communications and keeping up to date with breaking news which can quickly become draining.

Lucie is (was?) in Year 11 and got told that she would be finishing school months earlier than expected. This also means that she won’t be sitting her exams or have a prom or results day or any of the other things that we’d assumed were a given. She arrived home on her last day with a signed shirt and looked a bit shell shocked. It’s been a struggle to process such a massively unexpected life shift but I’m so very proud of how she’s quickly she’s adapted.

Megan is studying Adult Nursing and is currently on lockdown with her boyfriend and his family. It broke my heart when I realised it’s going to mean us not seeing each other for at least a month but I’m so grateful that his family are lovely and accommodating and have welcomed her into their home.

Life Update March 2020 Lisa Valentine Blogs

Doing

Earlier this month, me and Adam went on an impromptu trip to Blackpool Zoo to get some fresh air and enjoy some downtime together. He’d never been before and it prompted us to think about planning more days out with friends and family this summer. As things became more serious with coronavirus, we accepted that most of our trips, holidays and festival plans for this year are now unlikely to happen.

Instead, I spent about 7 hours on Saturday cleaning the house from top to bottom – I’m talking cupboards, wardrobes, windows, the lot. I then got arsey with Adam when he wasn’t as enthused about chipping in. I then had to say sorry for being a dick and realised that no-one apart from me actually gives a shit if the skirting boards are sparkling clean or not (sadly, I really do).

Again, with us both working from home, I’m trying hard to not let the little things become big ones, to stick a routine as I normally would, taking a proper break for lunch and turning off my emails and Slack notifications on weekends/before 8am so that my home and work life don’t blur into one and batter my mental health any more than it is.

Last Friday marked six years since Neil died suddenly – from a virus. As you can imagine, I’ve found the past few weeks to be triggering as fuck and am now having sporadic thoughts that all of my loved ones are most certainly going to catch coronavirus and die which is really helping me stay calm and rational during this global pandemic. I’d booked the day off work ages ago so me and Lucie went for an afternoon walk nearby to remember and reflect which was surprisingly lovely and cathartic.

On a lighter note, not only did I introduce Lucie to Cards Against Humanity last week, winning the Parent of the Year award, I’ve also been religiously tuning into Bongo’s Bingo: Live from the Bungalow (every Tues, Thursday and Saturday at 8pm) which has been a morale boost. I’m always banging on about much fun the shows are and the virtual version is a great second.

It’s free to join and if you love random quizzes, winning shit, memes and dancing about to 90s tunes in your living room, you need to look here immediately (bonus, I got Adam to join in after much resistance and he finally warmed to it, even agreeing to come with me to the next Manchester show. He’s now officially one of us).

Blackpool Zoo Life Update March 2020 Lisa Valentine Blogs
Bongos Bingo Online Life Update March 2020 Lisa Valentine Blogs

Watching

Thank the Lord for Netflix. My weekends are being consumed with Ozark which I’m utterly hooked on and shocked it’s taken me this long to find. I’m going to start Tiger King this week after seeing lots of stuff about it on Twitter and being a sucker for a bandwagon.

I told you in my last round up about the movie list that me and Adam made so we’re starting to get through that now. I watched Stand by Me for the first time and liked the Wonder Years vibes and rockabilly soundtrack. I think I’m going to give in and subscribe to Disney+ next week too.

I don’t think any of us know for sure what April will look like yet but stay safe, stay inside and look after each other.

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